Jeff Schultz

This AJC sports blogger takes things seriously when he has to, but he really would rather not

Other than injury, thoughts of replacing Jacob Eason are silly


If Jacob Eason is too injured to play the next game, and that would seem the way to bet today, then there's no debate about who Georgia's starting quarterback is against Notre Dame.

But let's be clear about something: There is no quarterback controversy. There should be no quarterback controversy. To draw conclusions about how well Eason has (or hasn't) developed based on eight snaps and three passes of one game is beyond ludicrous ... but, of course, made to order for the underworld of Twitter and message boards.

The only thing crazier is drawing conclusions about the readiness of Jake Fromm based on one win over Appalachian State.

Before expanding on those thoughts, here's an update. Georgia not surprisingly went dark Sunday, the day after Eason suffered a left knee injury early in the game against Appalachian State. It's not clear when, or if, coach Kirby Smart will provide any status update in the days leading up to next week's game at Notre Dame. Via our Seth Emerson:

  • UGA spokesman Claude Felton told me he's not expecting an official update today, though wouldn't rule it out.
  • Kirby Smart addresses the media tomorrow at noon. If nothing is announced today that's when we'll get our next official update.
  • My own guess is that Eason won't be able to play at Notre Dame. But until there's official confirmation, guess nothing can ever be ruled out.
  • If it's not an ACL - and apparently a field test ruled that out - then a sprained knee is usually in the range of a month, maybe two months. But sprains can be tricky to predict either way.

Here's one view of the injury.

OK, some thoughts:

I understand there are people who have their doubts about Eason. He didn't have a great freshman season and expectations were meteoric, to say nothing of unrealistic, going into last season. But there were a number of problems around Eason, not the least of which were: 1) a weak offensive line, giving him no time to read defenses and go through his progression; 2) a poor year by play-caller Jim Chaney, Smart's hand-picked offensive coordinator.

By all accounts, including comments from Smart, Eason made significant progress in the spring, the offseason and pre-season camp, not only reading defenses more effectively but more quickly. Work habits improved. He matured.

Fromm, the newbie, was said to be impressive in the preseason. He certainly looked good Saturday, coming off the bench. Against a Sun Belt team. At home.

But Fromm is true freshman, just like Eason was last season. Even in the best-case scenario of him being more mature and/or a better leader than Eason out of the gate, it's logical to assume he would have similar learning curve problems.

It's extremely difficult for first-year quarterbacks to play on this level. There shouldn't be a need to retype those words so frequently, but for some reason that reality doesn't always sink in to SlobberingDawg66 while he's pounding Cheetos on the couch.

If Eason can't play because of injury, then there's no decision to be made. I know the next question is going to be: What if Eason misses a month and Fromm looks great the next four or five games?

That's a hypothetical I'll address when it's not a hypothetical anymore. I'll let you battle it out on Twitter. But a lot more goes into decisions like that than just: Who has better passing stats? This isn't fantasy football.

Hopefully, we'll know more soon. I'll also address some other issues Georgia needs to be concerned about moving forward in a column soon.

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About the Author

Jeff Schultz is a general sports columnist and blogger who isn't afraid to share his opinion, which may not necessarily jibe with yours.